Food & Drink News: Changes Coming to Botanical Heights Restaurants

After years of success in Botanical Heights, three beloved restaurants – Elaia, Olio, and Nixta – will be leaving their current locations on Tower Grove and McRee avenues. Negotiations to purchase the buildings fell through for owner Ben Poremba, resulting in the closure of these popular spots.

Poremba and his restaurants have been instrumental in the revitalization of the area since the opening of Elaia and Olio in 2012. Their presence has attracted other businesses, such as Union Loafers and La Patisserie Chouquette, to the neighborhood. The news of their departure was initially devastating, but Poremba has announced that they will be reopening in the Delmar Maker’s District next year.

The last day of regular service for the current locations will be December 30, with the restaurants expected to reopen at various times throughout 2024. In the meantime, Olio will be hosting a walk-in New Year’s Eve celebration with bubbles and no reservations required.

In a recent Instagram post, Poremba shared the bittersweet news and expressed gratitude for the growth and impact of his restaurants in the past decade. He also revealed plans for three (and a half) new concepts.

Nixta will be the first to reopen in the spring, with a new addition called Bar Limon. This will include a seafood counter and an outdoor taco truck. Poremba will also take over the food service at the Contemporary Art Museum with a second AO&CO Cafe, offering coffee, Italian-inspired sandwiches, and pastries.

Winter will bring two new concepts – Florentin and Esca. Florentin, named after a neighborhood in Tel Aviv, will serve breakfast to early dinner with a focus on fresh juices, smoothies, and vegetarian street foods. Esca, on the other hand, will be a coastal Mediterranean grill and bar, featuring charcoal and wood cooking and inspired by the rustic and flavorful cuisine of the region.

While it’s sad to see the Botanical Heights restaurants go, the news of their relocation and new concepts is certainly something to look forward to. Stay tuned for updates and be sure to visit these beloved spots before they close their doors at the end of the year. 

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